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HEALTH

7 Health Reasons Why Ginger Should Be a Mandatory Part of Your Diet

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Known for its spicy, pungent taste, the ginger stem is one that is found in almost every household within the Indian and Chinese borders. It can elevate the entire flavor profile of a dish while also providing a range of health benefits. While the use of ginger within the Indian and Chinese cuisine can be traced back to the olden times, it wasn’t until the 1st century CE, that this spice made its grand entry into other cuisines, starting with the Mediterranean.

A fun fact about the ginger plant is that most people refer to the bulb as the root when in actuality, it is the stem of the plant that is usually added to Indian food. Today, India is one of the world’s largest ginger producers and produces around 385.33 thousand tons annually. 

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Nutritional Value of Ginger 

For a better understanding of the nutritional value that ginger contains, mentioned below is the nutritional value chart of 1 tablespoon/1 inch piece of ginger: 

  • Calories – 4.8 
  • Carbohydrates – 1.07 grams
  • Proteins – 0.11 grams
  • Dietary Fibre – 0.12 grams
  • Fat – 0.5 grams

In addition to the above division, ginger is also revered for the number of vitamins and minerals that it contains. These include: 

  • Iron 
  • Vitamin C 
  • Phosphorus
  • Folate 
  • Niacin 
  • Vitamin B3 
  • Vitamin B6 
  • Potassium 
  • Magnesium 
  • Zinc
  • Riboflavin 

7 Health Benefits of Ginger 

Since ancient times, Indians have used ginger to treat several conditions ranging from the common cold to sore throat and stomach cramps. Today, hundreds of studies have proven that the health benefits of ginger expand beyond one’s basic ailments. Some of the top health benefits of ginger include:

1. Alleviates Stomach Issues

While ginger has always been used to treat people with digestion issues and stomach pain, there is no medical research to support its medicinal properties. Truth be told, stomach pains are the least of what ginger can help with. It can also be used to ease nausea and reduce the vomiting that usually occurs during pregnancy and after medical treatments such as surgeries and chemotherapy. 

Moreover, it can also relieve period pains, and today, doctors are prescribing it alongside basic period pain reliever drugs like Advil. To support this, a clinical trial was conducted by Giti Ozgoli. At the end of this trial, it was proven that women who ingested ginger capsules four times a day, had the same level of relief as women who ingested drugs four times a day. 

2.Cures Common Cold 

Ginger has always been the number one home remedy for the common cold, and a study conducted in 2013 by Jung San Chang and team, has affirmed its therapeutic capacity. Through this study, it was found that eating fresh ginger could strengthen the respiratory system of the individual and protect them from respiratory viruses like the common cold.

3. Improves Oral Hygiene

Gingerols, an active compound present in ginger, is known for protecting the mouth and preventing the growth of oral bacteria. The growth and spread of this bacteria in the mouth could cause the development of periodontal disease, which is a serious gum disease. Not only does ginger eradicate the bacteria but it also brightens your teeth.

4. Fights Inflammation 

The essential oils present in ginger act as anti-inflammatories and fight against infections that cause stomach inflations. This makes it a great replacement for different drugs that could cause several side effects. 

5. Great For Reducing Blood Sugar Levels

In a study published in 2014, it was proven that individuals with type 2 diabetes who took 1600 mg of ginger powder daily for 12 weeks reported a drop in their total cholesterol and triglycerides while also improving their insulin sensitivity. This means that not only will ginger lower the risk of you developing type 2 diabetes but it will also work towards better management of type 2 diabetes. 

6. Helps Reduce the Risk of Cancer

Ginger is considered to be the powerhouse of antioxidants, and various studies have proven that the addition of ginger to one’s diet can effectively reduce oxidative stress. Oxidative stress occurs when there is a free radical build-up in the body. Free radicals are toxic substances that are formed by the body’s metabolism, along with different factors. If not eradicated, this build-up could cause cellular damage which could eventually lead to cancer. When ginger is introduced to the diet of the individual, it helps eliminate this build-up and thereby reduces the risk of developing cancer.

7. Helps Soothe Sore and Tired Muscles

While ginger doesn’t act as a miracle cure for your tired muscles, it does work towards soothing the pain in the long run. Studies have found that individuals who included ginger as a part of their daily diets were less likely to experience tired muscles the next day as compared to people without ginger in their diets. 

Healthy Ways to Add Ginger to Your Diet

As you can see, you have everything to gain and nothing to lose when it comes to adding ginger to your everyday meal routine and to help you out, here are two healthy ways to add ginger to your daily diet:

1. Ginger Tea

Ingredients:

  • A chunk of ginger sliced into 1/4th inch pieces
  • 1 cup of water 
  • A few sprigs of fresh mint
  • 1 tsp of honey
  • 1 tbsp of loose tea

Method: 

  • Add the ginger, water, tea, and the fresh mint to a saucepan placed over a high flame. Once it starts to simmer, reduce the heat to a low flame and let it continue to simmer for 5 minutes (If you want a strong flavor, simmer the water for 10 minutes).
  • Once the tea has finished simmering, remove the pot from the flame and run the tea through a sieve.
  • Pour the desired amount into your mug and stir in a teaspoon of honey and serve.

2. Paneer with Sweet Ginger Sauce

Ingredients: 

  • 250 gm fresh paneer, cut in 1-inch squares
  • 1 cm piece of sliced ginger
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 cup spinach leaves
  • ½ tsp dried chili flakes
  • Cooked rice (to serve)

The Marinade

  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method: 

  • Using a toothpick, create a few holes in the paneer and cut it into bite-sized cubes.
  • In a bowl, add all the ingredients needed for marination and mix.
  • Add the paneer to the marinade and set it aside for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Over a high flame, add half of the oil to a pan and heat until it starts smoking. Once done, add the ginger and stir fry for a few seconds. To this, add the spinach leaves and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add a little water to this mixture and cook for another 2 minutes. Once the leaves wilt and the stems get slightly cooked (they should still have a little crunch to it), add a little salt and pepper to it and transfer it to a plate.
  • Add the rest of the oil to the pan. When the oil begins smoking, add in the marinated paneer pieces and stir fry till evenly browned. Add the remaining marinade. Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat, and let the gravy simmer and reduce. Sprinkle the chili flakes and spinach to this and toss.
  • Serve hot with steamed rice.

Summary

Ginger is quite literally the spice of life and can not only boost the flavor of your food but also improve your immunity. From treating muscle and joint pain, cold and flu symptoms, stomach pain, menstrual cramps, to skin burns, ginger is one ingredient that is beneficial in curing most ailments. Adding ginger into your daily foods will never be a disappointment when it comes to keeping diseases at bay, strengthening your immunity, and maintaining overall well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can ginger help you ingest food?

A. Yes, Ginger stimulates saliva secretion and helps with digestion.

Q. Is it Safe to eat ginger when you’re pregnant?

A. Yes in very low doses (1 gram/day) and natural form, ginger is safe to consume in pregnancy.

Q. Is adding ginger to your breakfast shake enough for your daily intake?

A. Yes, but it also depends on what benefits we are looking for, in general, the recommended intake of ginger in its natural form is about 4 grams.

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Causes and 7 Foods that will Help Rev It Up!

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Are you among the many men who feel tired when completing even the most basic tasks? Trust us when we say you are not alone in this. Today, increasing number of men, both young and old, have started to experience low energy levels. And this chronic tiredness doesn’t just mean that you can’t jog the 3km that you used to. When you lack energy, you may not be able to concentrate or may feel sleepy all the time leaving you unproductive, extremely demotivated and unhappy in life.

Luckily, low levels of energy don’t ‘just happen.’ There are always reasons behind it, and once you know the cause, you can come up with a well-planned solution to fix the problem.

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Reasons Why Men Feel Low on Energy: 

1. Your Diet Could Be Off Kilter

offtrack on diet

Your diet dictates your strength – remember that! A healthy diet plan should include proteins, minerals, and vitamins present in the right proportions. While the odd cheat day won’t mess up your energy levels, a diet that is entirely devoid of these nutrients could cause a host of problems, beginning with a feeling of fatigue. Additionally, a bad diet doesn’t just refer to a lot of junk food. Therefore, it is always advised that you discuss your diet plan with a certified dietitian before restructuring your food regimen.

2. Low Testosterone Levels

As you grow older, the amount of testosterone present in your body reduces drastically. Testosterone is a male hormone responsible for maintaining your sex drive, bone density, weight gain, self-esteem levels, and so on. A drop in your testosterone levels could lead to several issues such as weight gain and insomnia, which could result in low energy levels.

3. Iron deficiency

Iron deficiency

Iron deficiency anemia is a common condition, and while pregnant women and women with heavy periods are more prone to it, men can also experience it. With men, iron deficiency anemia is caused due to problems with the stomach and intestines. These problems could be caused due to ulcers and the overuse of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). The type of fatigue that could be experienced here is more towards the motivational side. You will find yourself not wanting to do anything, and even when completing a task, your muscles will feel tired and heavy.

On the flip side, a large amount of iron in your body could also lead to feelings of fatigue. This condition is known as hemochromatosis and is referred to as an iron-overload disorder. This condition is a rare inherited one and is said to affect men between the ages of 30-60.

4. Sleep Apnea

sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is a condition wherein the individual experiences small interruptions in their breathing cycle when they sleep. There are different kinds of sleep apnea, and obstructive sleep apnea is the one that is most commonly experienced. Here, the upper airways collapse on themselves for a few seconds, which causes the brain to jolt you awake. This condition is often characterized by snoring, and it can cause the individual to feel tired the next day.

5. You Don’t Exercise Enough

you Dont exercise enough

It is common for men to notice a decrease in energy levels if they don’t exercise for a long time. Exercising is good for losing weight, but it also increases the adrenaline levels and energy in the body. Without exercising for a long time, your muscles will get weak, and you will notice an increase in fatigue and the inability to perform even the most basic tasks without tiring.

6. You May Have Thyroid Issues

The thyroid gland is a hormonal gland that is required for one’s development. These hormones also regulate various body functions and even provide one with the energy to complete their day-to-day tasks. Hypothyroidism or reduced levels of the thyroid hormone in the body is a condition that is usually caused by an autoimmune disease. An autoimmune disease is one that causes the immune system to attack the individual’s thyroid. While women are more prone to experiencing this condition, men can also be affected by it. Moreover, a lack of thyroid in the male body could also lead to the reduction of testosterone, which could result in a reduction of energy.

7. You Could Have Coeliac Disease

celiac disease

This condition is one that lasts a lifetime and occurs through the reaction of the individual’s immune system to gluten. Gluten is a mixture of proteins that are found in different grains, as well as cakes, cereals, and bread. One of the main symptoms of coeliac disease is low levels of energy. Other symptoms include diarrhea, anemia, bloating, and a loss of weight.

7 Foods Men Should Add to their Diet to Rev Up Energy Levels

A great way to solve your fatigue problem would be to add the following foods to your diet. 

1. Bananas

bananas

Bananas are a fantastic source of energy and contain a ton of vitamin B6, potassium, and carbohydrates. Each of these nutrients works towards boosting your overall energy levels. In a study conducted by David C Nieman and the team, it was proven that eating a banana was as efficient as drinking a shake filled with carbohydrates.

2. Honey

honey

Low levels of testosterone could lead to fatigue. As such, it is essential to include foods that directly improve your energy and eat ingredients that increase your testosterone levels. Honey is one of these ingredients. Packed with boron, honey is an amazing product that works towards improving your testosterone levels while also strengthening your bones and muscles.

3. Fatty Fish

fatty fish

A proper diet should include a daily dose of vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids. Vitamin B-12 and folic acid work together to improve the work done by iron in the body. On the other hand, Omega-3 fatty acids can significantly reduce the inflammation of the body, which could cause fatigue. Fatty fish, like tuna or salmon, are excellent sources of both vitamin B3 and Omega-3 fatty acids, so you should try consuming it as much as possible.

4. Almonds

almonds

Almonds contain biotin, commonly known as vitamin B3. This vitamin helps boost one’s metabolism, which is required to create energy from food, which, in our opinion, beats a bag of chips any day.

5. Garlic

garlic

Can you think of an Indian dish that doesn’t have garlic in it? We can’t! Garlic contains a component called allicin which is known for its ability to reduce one’s cortisol levels. The same gland produces cortisol and testosterone, and when you’re stressed, it can negatively impact different body functions, including the production of testosterone, which could cause you to feel tired. By adding garlic to your meal plan, you are sure to keep your testosterone and metabolism checked.

6. Brown Rice

brown rice

It has long been proven that brown rice is healthier than white rice. This type of rice is not as processed as white rice is and has a more substantial nutritional value. Additionally, brown rice contains fiber and manganese. Manganese helps break down the proteins and carbohydrates and converts them to energy. In contrast, the fiber content helps regulate your level of blood sugar and steadies your energy level throughout the day.

7. Oatmeal

Oatmeal

Oatmeal contains fiber, protein, and calcium, all of which are required for boosting your energy levels. It is an excellent addition to yogurt or can be used to create an energy bar as well. Therefore, not only is it delicious to eat, but it is also incredibly healthy and will fill you up for hours on end.

Summary

Be it, man or woman, it is imperative that we put our health and well-being first. Although men and women go through different kinds of stress levels and energy fluctuations, we all must make sure to eat right, sleep right, and exercise regularly. Adding the above-mentioned foods in their diet can especially help men in maintaining good energy levels, stamina, and overcome daily stress-related problems.

So, if you are among the many men going through tiredness, fatigue, or any other discomforts with regards to your energy levels, then make sure to add these foods in your diet and exercise regularly, for a healthier and fitter tomorrow.

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HEALTH

7 Health Benefits of Summer Fruit Kokum: HealthifyMe Blog

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Kokum, a small cherry-like summer fruit, is red in color and deepens to purple when ripe. It is widely found in the Western Ghat region of India. This is one of the main reasons why they are mostly used in the cuisines of Gujarat, Maharashtra, and coastal states of Southern India. The fruit is sour with a faintly sweet aroma and is used as a spice. When added to food it imparts a purple-ish color. Some cuisines also use it as a preferred substitute for tamarind in curries and other dishes. Apart from being used for cooking and as medicine, they are widely used to make plush Kokum sherbet as well.  

Moreover, Kokum has numerous health benefits as it is rich in antioxidants, essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals required by the body. Kokum oil and butter are also extracted from its seeds and frequently used in making chocolates and sweets. It also finds itself in many beauty products of skin and hair.

Furthermore, in this post we will be looking at Kokum fruit’s nutritional facts, health benefits, and the best ways to consume kokum. 

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Nutritional Facts of Kokum

Kokum is a warehouse of a variety of essential nutrients, which helps keep your body healthy. 

100 grams of Kokum contains:

  • Calories: 60
  • Fiber: 1.8g
  • Carbohydrates: 14.3g
  • Fats: 0.1g
  • Protein: 0.5g

Apart from the above nutrients, the Kokum fruit also contains:

  • Acetic Acid – An essential nutrient for your body that regulates the blood sugar levels.
  • Ascorbic acid – Improves your immunity system and acts as an antioxidant agent for your body.
  • Manganese – Improves your bone health and can help with diseases like arthritis. It also regulates blood sugar levels and acts as an anti-inflammatory agent. 
  • Hydroxycitric Acid – Naturally reduces your appetite, and prevents any cravings or hunger pangs. An amazing component for all your diet foods. 

Health Benefits of Kokum

#1 Remedy for Acidity

Kokum- remedy for acidity

Kokum is an age-old homemade fix for acidity. Dried Kokum consumed in a sherbet or juice form can help reduce acidity. Simply add sugar, salt, and chilled water to dried Kokum to make delicious kokum sherbet to relieve acidity.

#2 Improves Digestion

improves digestion

Kokum shields the helpful gut bacteria in the body, aiding digestion. It is anti-bacterial in nature and counteracts the harmful effects of certain bacteria that cause indigestion, dysentery, constipation, ulcers, bloating, nausea, and flatulence. Kokum is a natural remedy for all such gastric ailments.

#3 Anti-inflammatory

Kokum has tremendous anti-inflammatory powers. It can be directly applied to sores, rashes induced by allergies, and burns to soothe the inflamed skin. It also has anti-allergic properties. It stops histamine formation by effectively decreasing a body’s pH level.

#4 Rich in Antioxidant

Garcinol is a powerful antioxidant that is harvested from Kokum. It is known to be anti-cancer in nature and aids in cell regeneration. It scavenges free radicals and protects from carcinogenesis.

#5 Power-Packed with Nutrients

Power-Packed with Nutrients

Kokum contains several important nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin B3, vitamin C, folic acid, calcium, iron, potassium, and zinc. It also provides the body much- needed dietary fiber that helps lower cholesterol, improves bowel health and assists in weight loss. It does this by keeping you feeling full for a longer time. This helps you avoid overeating and gaining weight. It is also great for pregnant women as it helps relieve nausea, vomiting, and cooling down the body. 

#6 Anti-aging properties

Anti aging properties

The antioxidants in Kokum impart its natural anti-aging properties. It helps in beautifying your hair and skin by repairing and regenerating cells. The ancient medicinal practice of Ayurveda uses Kokum extensively from relieving rheumatoid arthritis to healing cracked heels. Kokum butter can be mixed with soaps and creams to rejuvenate and refresh the skin by improving its elasticity. 

#7 Beat the Heat

Kokum is indigenous to many tropical regions where for centuries people have used this fruit to keep the heat at bay. Consuming it as a chilled sherbet or juice helps keep the body cool and refreshed. Summers can be exceptionally harsh in tropical areas. So, fruits like Kokum are a natural low-caloric way to keep your body hydrated and healthy.

Best Way to Consume Kokum

Kokum is very versatile. It can be consumed after drying or infusing with water or only eating it as a fruit. Just like tamarind, it can be used to give a tangy twist to anything. It is added to coconut flavored curries, fish curries, dals, chutneys, pickles, ladies finger/bhindi and potato dishes. Even kokum petals are used in cooking, and they impart a lovely sourness to any stew they are added to. Below are some Kokum inspired recipes rooted in the Indian cuisine.

Kokum Curry

Kokum curry

Prep Time:15 mins; Cooking Time:30 mins

Kokum curry is a traditional Goan recipe that is usually served with rice. It needs the following ingredients: –

  • 7 kokum fruits
  • 1 tablespoon ajwain
  • 7 dried red chilies
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoon salt
  • ½ cup coconut

Method:

  • Grind together ajwain, chilies, black pepper, and coconut together in a blender.
  • Add the smooth mixture in a pan.
  • Put in kokum fruit.
  • Let it simmer in the pan for half an hour. Keep stirring in between.
  • Serve hot with rice.

Kokum Kadhi

Kokum Kadhi

Prep Time:25 mins; Cooking Time:10 mins

Kokum kadhi is one of a kind because it does not use either curd or besan- both ingredients that are essential to a regular kadhi. This is a delicious Goan interpretation of the famous North Indian dish of kadhi. You will need the following things: –

  • 20 kokum fruits
  • 2 tablespoons green chilies
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons jeera
  • 5 curry leaves
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
  • 2 dried red chilies
  • 1 cup coconut milk

Method:

  • Mix kokum, green chilies, salt and about 2 cups of water in a bowl.
  • Let the mixture soak for 15 mins.
  • Strain the mixture. Moving forward only the kokum water will be used in the recipe. The Kokum and green chilies can be disposed of.
  • Heat vegetable oil in a pan and add jeera.
  • Once jeera starts spluttering add curry leaves, red chilies, and garlic. Cook on a medium flame for about 5 mins.
  • Add the already prepared kokum water, coconut milk and salt to the pan. Mix everything and cook on a medium flame again for 5 mins.
  • Serve hot with boiled rice.

Kokum Dal

Kokum Dal

Prep Time: 10 mins; Cooking Time: 30 mins

This Marathi dish is a winsome combination of tur dal and Kokum. This traditional dal recipe is very healthy and easy to make. You will need the below- mentioned list of ingredients: – 

  • 2 cups tur dal
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 5 curry leaves
  • 4 green chilies
  • 2 tablespoons goda masala
  • 2 tablespoons coconut
  • 2 tablespoons jaggery powder
  • 7 kokum fruits

Method:

  • Pressure cook the tur dal. Also, add some salt and turmeric powder in the cooker.
  • Let it whistle 4 times before taking it off the flame.
  • The dal must be mushy.
  • Prepare a separate pan. Heat some oil in it.
  • Add curry leaves, mustard seeds, green chilies, and turmeric powder. Stir well.
  • Sauté for a few minutes and then add the mashed tur dal in the pan.
  • Add goda masala, coconut, jaggery, and Kokum. 
  • Cook on a medium flame for 15 minutes.
  • Garnish with ghee and cilantro if desired.
  • Serve hot with rice.

Summary

This tangy fruit has been blessed with umpteen nutrients which can help keep your body healthy. This fruit can combat symptoms of aging, serve as a remedy for acidity, helps keep your body cooler, helps you lose weight, and improves digestion. This tangy delight is also celebrated in many regional Indian cuisines for its delicious taste and overwhelming health benefits. 



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7 Lifestyle Changes to Strengthen your Immune System: HealthifyMe Blog

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The majority of the people overlook the fact that how genuinely effective our immune system is at protecting against diseases. While they complain of having ‘weak’ immune systems, it is their lifestyle that makes it worse. In the midst of the COVID 19 outbreak, people with a weak immune system are at risk of getting affected by the virus. Our immune system is responsible for warding off viruses and germs from entering our body and protecting against diseases. Therefore, it is important to take every measure possible to ensure that your immune system remains strong.

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How do lifestyle changes help strengthen overall immunity?

Lifestyle changes to strengthen your immunity

Germs and viruses can invade your body any time, but this invasion only happens occasionally in healthy people. An annoying headache, skin eruption, a sensitive gut, an itchy throat, or a sniffle, all are our body’s way of communicating something isn’t right. The intensity of these messages is different in different individuals. But do you ever wonder why this happens and what’s the root cause behind it? Doctors claim that it is our lifestyle that is taking a serious toll on our health and they are right. In the day and age where people lead busy lifestyles, they have no time to look after themselves. Even the slightest change in your lifestyle (in a healthy way) can prove beneficial for your immune system in the long run. 
With that said, in this post, we will discuss the healthy ways to build your immune system and lead a healthy and happy life. 

How to increase your immunity in a healthy way?

The first line of defense is choosing to live a healthy lifestyle. When we say a healthy lifestyle, it is not just limited to eating healthy and nutritious food. Consider the following healthy living strategies that you can implement for a better and healthy life. Also while there are medications and supplements that can help, it is always advised to opt for natural ways.

#1 Diet and Immune System 

Diet and Immune System

Your immune system’s health and your diet go hand-in-hand. In simple terms, good nutrition is the key to a strong immune system that may provide protection against seasonal illness and other health problems. Your gut is the center of your health, acting as a gatekeeper to the rest of your body and training your immune system. Keeping your gut healthy means keeping your immune system healthy. Therefore, you must include foods in your diets that are gut-friendly, such as probiotics, fermented and cultured foods, and sprouted vegetables. Moreover, you will also need to increase your intake of antioxidant-rich foods that can help fight against cell damage and body invaders.  You should consume a balanced diet that contains protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that can help support immune response and play a role in healthful eating style. 

#2 Workout and Immune System 

There is a compelling link between exercise and the body’s defense system. Exercise helps your immunity perform at a high level. Taking a daily walk, practicing yoga or following a regular exercise routine can help decrease your chances of developing any health issues. Exercise improves the flow of blood through the cardiovascular system, helping in flushing the germs and toxins from the body via the excretory system in the form of sweat and urine. This may reduce your chance of getting flu, cold, or other illness. 
According to health experts, regular exercise helps in the production and strengthening of white blood cells (WBCs) that fight diseases. Exercise helps WBCs to circulate more rapidly, allowing them to detect harmful organisms before they can cause any problem. 
It is important that you include daily exercise (even a 30-minute walk will also work) in your lifestyle to ensure that your immune system is in a superior condition. 

#3 Sleep and Immune System 

Healthy sleep is the pillar of healthy living. Insufficient sleep or sleep deprivation can affect your immune system and may increase your likelihood of getting sick. Research shows that people who are sleep deprived or don’t get quality sleep are more prone to developing disease after being exposed to a virus. On the other hand, lack of sleep will also influence how quickly you recover after getting sick. 
A protein called cytokines is released by your immune system when your body is in sleep mode. This protein is responsible for fighting infection or inflammation, and therefore, its production needs to be increased when you are under the influence of a virus. Lack of sleep may reduce the production of cytokines. 
So, irrespective of your busy schedule, you need to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep. It will not only keep your immune system healthy but also keep you active throughout the day. 

#4 Smoking and Immune System 

The negative effects of cigarette smoking are well documented, with doctors, medical researchers, and health professionals all agreeing that tobacco products are injurious to health. Stroke, COPD, lung cancer, heart disease – these are a few of the many conditions linked to smoking. 
Smoking lessens your body’s immune response to the extent that your body stops responding to invasions. This is because tobacco damages practically every system in your body, making you feel harder to shake even illnesses that are no big deal to most healthy individuals.

#5 Stress and the Immune System 

If you are going through some stressful times in life, you need to know that it can have a significant impact on both your physical and mental health. Being stressed can hinder the effectiveness of your immune system, making you more susceptible to viruses and bacteria. Apart from affecting your immune system, stress can lead to sleep problems, high blood pressure, depression, and cardiovascular problems like stroke and heart attack. 
Chronic stress can have a bad impact on your health, the most notorious ones being autoimmune and inflammatory disorders. When you are feeling stressed, your body produces more cortisol (a hormone released to curb stress) that can cause your body to struggle to normalize its inflammatory response and attack itself. This will impair your immune health, and it won’t be able to produce more white blood cells in the body. 
There are a lot of reasons to be feeling stressed. From money problems to demanding jobs, relationship breakdowns, and more, one can be stressed due to any reason. But it is important that you curb it as soon as possible by talking to your loved ones or seeking professional help. 

#6 Age and Immune System 

Aging is one of the reasons for the weakening of immune health. As we age, our body cells tend to get weaker, and the production of new cells becomes slow. This is the reason why old people tend to get easily sick and take time to heal. While there is no solution to the aging issue, there are things you can do to slow down the process of aging. The primary factor is a lifestyle change, which is something we have already discussed in depth in the above segments. Aging is a natural phenomenon, and you cannot do anything about it. But with certain lifestyle modifications, you can make aging a pleasant experience. From eating healthy to doing regular exercise, quitting bad habits like drinking and smoking, avoiding being stressed, following healthy sleeping practices, can help you cope with the aging process.  

How age and medical conditions affect the immune system

#7 Medical Conditions and Immune System 

Medical conditions like diabetes, heart conditions, joint problems, or even cancer, can reduce the effectiveness of your immune system health. Therefore, extreme measures have to be taken to keep your health in check. When you are already suffering from a medical condition, it hinders your body’s ability to ward off viruses and germs. This can cause you to suffer from cold, flu, and sore throat more often as compared to others. So, you need to take the necessary medications as well as other appropriate measures to keep your health and immune system in check. 

Conclusion 

With the above-mentioned lifestyle changes, you can make your immune system stronger. While you may find it difficult to implement these changes, taking one step at a time will not only make it easier for you to ward off viruses and other bacteria but also keep you healthier for a better tomorrow.    



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7 Health Benefits of Fennel Seeds and How it Aids in Weight Loss:

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India being one of the largest exporters of fennel seeds/saunf (as it is popularly known), uses it voraciously due to all the benefits it provides. People from diverse cultures prefer consuming fennel seeds owing to its various medicinal properties. For instance, Indian families often consume fennel seeds after having their meal for healthier and faster digestion.
Fennel seeds are often interlinked to ‘longevity’ and are known for offering a wide range of nutritional properties that aid in improving the well being of a human body. Moreover, fennel seeds offer a concentrated source of different minerals that are vital for the regulation of blood pressure as well as for the retention of water inside our body. 

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What are Fennel Seeds?

Fennel seeds have a crunchy texture on the outside with a mildly sweet flavor. It is also widely used as a mouth freshener. Fennel seeds closely resemble anise seeds in terms of appearance, and are extracted from fennel plants. They contain multiple nutrients like Vitamin K, Vitamin E, manganese, copper, zinc, and phosphorus, and is a good source of Vitamin C. One serving of fennel seeds contains 1% of the RDI (Recommended Dietary Intake) for Vitamin C, which acts as a dynamic antioxidant for your body, protecting your skin from any damages caused by the sun, smoke, or pollution.

Nutritional Facts of Fennel Seeds

Fennel seeds are usually consumed in the quantity of one tablespoon per serving, and the nutrition value it provides can be found below:

Nutrients Nutritional Value (per tablespoon – 6g)
Calories 19.8
Fiber 2.3 grams
Carbohydrates 3 grams
Protein 0.9 grams
Fat 0.6 grams
Cholesterol 0 grams

Let’s take a further look at some other details about fennel seeds, and understand how the seeds can help us in maintaining our diet and meeting the goals we have set for ourselves. 

Benefits of fennel seeds

Fennel seeds contain powerful antioxidants and phytonutrients that makes them a highly nutritious source with many health benefits, which are as follows:

1. Regulates blood pressure

regulates blood pressure

The Journal of Food Science published a study which showed that chewing fennel seeds helps in increasing the level of nitrite in saliva. Nitrite is a natural element that keeps a check on the blood pressure levels. In addition to this, fennel seeds are also rich in potassium which helps in controlling the blood pressure and heart rate. 

2. Great for skin problems

fennel seeds cures acne

Regular consumption of fennel seeds provide minerals such as selenium, calcium, and zinc. These minerals are crucial for balancing hormones while maintaining the oxygen balance in your bloodstream. These minerals impart a cooling and soothing effect on the skin, providing it with a healthy glow. Fennel seeds also offer various ayurvedic properties that help in treating other skin ailments like rashes and dryness. Applying a paste of fennel seeds is highly beneficial for the skin as the aforementioned minerals are absorbed by the skin, and keeps it moist, clean, and healthy.

3. Purifies Blood

The vital fiber and essential oils in fennel seeds are considered highly useful for flushing out sludge and toxins from our bodies, thereby, helping in cleansing the blood which further helps in optimum absorption of nutrients in the body. The polyphenol antioxidants in fennel seeds also have anti-inflammatory properties that help in fighting various bacteria and viruses, keeping you safe from various diseases.

4. Helps in improving eyesight

Fennel seeds helps improve eyesight

Adding a couple tablespoons of fennel seeds to your diet regularly can help in enhancing your vision. They contain a high amount of vitamin A, an essential component for excellent vision. In ancient times, extracts from fennel seeds were used for treating people who were affected with glaucoma.

5. Reduces water retention and suppress appetite

Drinking fennel tea regularly helps in flushing out excess fluids from your body. Fennel tea works like a diuretic. Moreover, it also helps in reducing the chances of urinary tract diseases and removing toxins from the kidney. It also includes diaphoretic properties that help in stimulating perspiration.
One more advantage of drinking fennel tea is that it helps in suppressing appetite. Consuming one cup of fennel tea, releases essential oils which helps in suppressing hunger.   Fennel tea is suggested by many dietitians before meals to suppress the calorie intake for weight loss.

6. Vital for Bloating, IBS, Indigestion, and Constipation

Fennel seeds can act as a vital source for curing constipation, bloating, and indigestion as they contain essential oils like anethole, fenchone, and estragole that contributes to the anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties. These elements help significantly in breaking down the food in the body, and keeps your digestive system functioning smoothly. People who suffer from IBS would highly benefit from the fennel seed extracts. The oils help in kick-starting digestion by promoting the working as well as the production of gastric juices and enzymes, keeping your digestive tract healthy.

7. Reduces risk of cancer

The seeds contain powerful, free radical scavenging properties. Due to the presence of antioxidants, fennel seeds help in neutralizing free radicals that are responsible for developing cancer. Hence, it helps in beating the oxidative stress along with protecting the body from different cancers of the breasts, stomach, and skin. It offers a chemo modulatory effect on the patient. 

Fennel seeds and weight loss

fennel seeds and weight loss

Fennel seeds are often considered as an essential food item to include in diets for losing weight. Consuming it regularly along with an active and healthy lifestyle helps in losing extra pounds. Weight loss is just one of the various advantages of adding fennel seeds to your everyday diet. These tiny seeds have a ton of powerful nutrients that keep a human body healthy. Here are some ways by which fennel helps in reducing the few extra pounds in your body.
Fennel seeds are very rich in dietary fibers, which slow down the digestion process. This means that after consuming one serving of fennel seeds, you won’t get hungry anytime soon, which can avoid  overeating. Additionally, with the presence of antioxidants, fennel seeds help in improving the body’s absorption power for vitamins and minerals. Another advantage of the antioxidants is that they help in breaking down the fats and carbs in the body, helping you in avoid gaining extra pounds.
Fennel seeds also have diuretic properties which will help you in flushing out the toxins and other harmful liquids from your body. A much more preferred alternative to fennel seeds tea is a fennel seeds drink called the Variyali Sherbet. This tangy drink is a common drink in India, and is usually consumed in the summers to keep the body hydrated and cool. Not only does Variyali Sherbet help in weight loss, but it also helps in detoxifying the body, getting rid of acidity and reducing stress. This can be attributed to an endless list of antioxidants present in fennel seeds like zeaxanthin, lutein, beta-carotene, chlorine, manganese, zinc, selenium, phosphorus, and more that are known for protecting the body against oxidative stress and improving the metabolic rate of a human body.

Here’s the recipe to make one glass of Variyali Sherbet:

Ingredients required:

  • 1 cup of fennel seeds
  • 2 cups of water (500ml)
  • 1.5  cups of rock sugar
  • 5 soaked cardamom
  • Black salt
  • Ice cubes

Instructions:

  • Grind fennel seeds and cardamom into a fine powder in a food processor or mixer  grinder.
  • Now soak the fennel and cardamom powder for nearly 8 hours in 2 cups of water. 
  • Next, the rock sugar needs to be grinded into a fine powder.
  • Strain the soaked fennel and cardamom powder liquid into a container
  • Add a pinch of black salt in the container
  • Add the powdered sugar and stir for 30 seconds
  • Serve in a glass with ice cubes

Nutritional value of a normal glass (240 ml) of Variyali Sherbet:

Nutrients Nutritional Value
Carbohydrates 2.9g
Proteins 2.9g
Fibers 7.3g
Magnesium 15 mg
Vitamin B-6 0.041 mg
Iron 0.64 mg
Vitamin C 10.4 mg
Calcium 43 mg
Vitamin A 838 IU
Sodium 45 mg
Potassium 360 mg

Summary

In India, fennel seeds are quite popular among people as the seeds can miraculously treat an endless list of digestive ailments that include colic in infants, intestinal gas, heartburn, and more. You can even use the seeds as a mouth freshener after you have a hearty meal. Hence, we can see that fennel seeds offer a wide range of benefits that makes it very popular among people.
So, the next time you’re thinking of incorporating a food item into your diet with multiple health benefits, you should consider fennel seeds as they would fit in perfectly with your long term or short term health goals. 



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FITNESS

7 Essential Barbell Exercises To Get Stronger

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While everyone’s training routine is a little different, as are their overall fitness goals, there are some things that appeal to all gym-goers. Effective exercises that make you stronger without having to spend hours in the weights room definitely fall into that category.

We’ve assembled seven such exercises below, and when you scan down to read them you’ll see that they’re all barbell exercises. That’s because the barbell is your best friend when it comes to building strength and size in an efficient manner.

The Benefits Of Barbell Exercises

“When you’re strength training, the best tool you can use is the barbell,” says personal trainer Tom Wright. “Nothing else comes close. Lifting for strength requires multi-joint exercises known as compound lifts, which create tension through different muscles and movement patterns, and they stimulate thousands of nerves all of which are a part of getting stronger.

“No other equipment allows such dramatic improvements in overall strength. Start out using a weight you’re comfortable with, increase the load every week and watch your numbers fly up.”

How And When To Use These Exercises In Your Training

You’ll find our seven top barbell exercises below, but you shouldn’t just hit the gym and knock them all out in order as your punishing new workout routine. It’s important to be smart when incorporating heavy barbell lifts into your training to get the maximum benefits and avoid any risk of injury.

“Because these movements recruit a large number of motor units and provide a big stimulus to the central nervous system, I always put them at the start of training sessions,” says Wright. “Generally you pick two of these exercises as your main lifts, such as squat and deadlift for a lower-body session, or bench press and barbell row for the upper body.”

Of course, we don’t mean you should dive straight in at the deep end with your main lifts. Prepare with this gym warm-up first, then do warm-up sets with an empty barbell, progressively adding weight until you’re at your target weight.

You can also do a set of moves that hit both the upper and lower body in one session.

“This upper/lower style of training can allow you to get more work done in a shorter amount of time because less recovery time is required when you move between body parts,” says Wright. “Another benefit of this method is increased heart rate as the body pumps blood from one area to another, leading to a higher metabolic rate and increased fat burning.”

Here are the seven barbell exercises you need to know about. Click the link in the bulleted list below to jump to that entry.

The Magnificent 7

  1. Bench Press
  2. Bent-Over Row
  3. Deadlift
  4. Back Squat
  5. Overhead Press
  6. Lunge
  7. Power Clean

Essential form: Start with your arms locked and the bar above your chest. Press your shoulders into the bench, plant your feet on the floor and squeeze your glutes. Bend your elbows to lower the weight to your chest, then press back up to the start.

Targets: chest, triceps, front shoulders

If you want to build an impressive upper torso then the bench press is king. “A trifecta of pecs, shoulders and triceps makes this compound pushing movement, along with the deadlift and squat, one of the true tests of strength,” says Wright. “This lift also allows you to load up your triceps with more weight than you could lift on assistance exercises such as dips or press-downs.”

Beyond The Chest

The bench is all about your pecs, right? Wrong. “It requires a lot of pushing power, which means that to join the big boys you’ll need a strong upper back too,” says Wright. “Make sure you control your shoulder blades by keeping them fixed on the bench. This tension will keep you in a stable position on your big lifts and stop you moving around. If you’ve ever seen a powerlifter bench they use this to the extreme, lifting their hips clear off the bench and planting their feet, squeezing their muscles tight from their shoulder blades all the way down their back to the floor.”

Be Single-Minded

If you have strong chest muscles but you’re weak in your shoulder stabilisers, you’ll struggle to lift a serious amount of weight on the bench press. To maintain good shoulder joint health and give yourself the best chance of going big, try this assistance exercise. “A great variation for bench press is the single-arm dumbbell press,’ says Wright. “It requires immense shoulder control as well as a strong core to stay balanced. If you think you might have one side stronger than the other then throw this in once a week and your imbalances will soon become a thing of the past.”

Use Your Body

Being able to control your own bodyweight is often a great way of laying the kind of foundations that will allow you to lift some significant weight when you use external resistance, such as a barbell. “The best assistance exercise for bench press would be dips or a close-grip pressing exercise that works the same muscles in a slightly different movement pattern,” says Wright. “Once you can perform ten controlled bodyweight reps start to add some weight either with a belt or by holding a dumbbell between your feet.”

Essential form: Hold the bar with a shoulder-width grip, bending your knees slightly, then bend at the hips until your torso is at a roughly 45° angle to the floor. Pull the bar up to touch your stomach and then lower under control. If you’re moving your upper body to shift the bar, the weight’s too heavy.

Targets: biceps, lats, core

You should be spending the same amount of time training your back as you do your chest, and the key move is the bent-over row. “The barbell row is a great way to develop a strong upper body and add size to your back, and it’s the only exercise to work all the different muscles that make up the rear of your torso,” says Wright. “The move requires not only a strong pull but also the ability to keep yourself fixed in the bent-over position, which takes strong spinal erectors – technically part of your core muscles.”

Keep Your Shoulder Blades Engaged

If you want to lift a decent weight and activate the target muscle groups effectively, your start position is incredibly important. “You should always initiate the row by ‘setting’ your shoulder blades,’ says Wright. “To do this, pull them back and down by squeezing the muscles between them and expanding your chest, then let your elbows follow through to your sides. Think of your hands as hooks – they are simply there to hold the weight, not to pull it. You can even try a thumbless grip. This will engage your lats and help you get a better contraction in the muscle.”

Use The Right Muscles

It may not seem like a complicated move but there are some common mistakes that you can avoid. “The first is not pulling with the back and instead using too much biceps,” says Wright. “You must first activate the muscle you want to use and then move through the full range of movement. Secondly, loading up the bar with too much weight will cause you to lose form, and decrease the range of movement. Performing reps too quickly can also hinder progress. Remember, time under tension should be approximately 40 seconds for muscle growth, so control the weight and keep the tension on the muscles.”

Underhand Tactic

Once you know how to do the move perfectly, you can begin to play around with variations to get a different training effect. “If you’re looking to build your lats – your big back muscles – in particular try using an underhand grip with a narrow hand placement because this will target your lats and lower back,” says Wright. “As well as greater lat recruitment, it also uses more of the biceps too. Rows have been shown to be more effective for building your lats than even lat pull-downs.”

Add In Dumbbell Rows

Want to get even better at rows? Then do this assistance move. “My favourite assistance exercise for the barbell row is the braced dumbbell row,” says Wright. “Place one hand on a bench and take a wide stance with your feet, bracing through your trunk. Let the dumbbell hang down, then pull back and up so it travels along a curved path to the bottom of your ribcage. Rowing with one arm allows greater range of movement and is also great for developing your obliques and core.”

Essential form: Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, grasp the bar with your hands just outside your legs. Lift the bar by driving your hips forwards, keeping a flat back. Lower the bar under control – though once you get up to really heavy weights, it’s OK to drop your final rep.

Targets: whole body

If you’re looking for raw strength then the deadlift is the move for you. “It’s a posterior chain builder, working the muscles on the rear of your body to pull the bar from floor to hip,” says Wright. “The deadlift will allow you to move more weight than any other barbell exercise, so use it to develop your overall strength and power.”

Brains And Brawn

Deadlifting is all about brute strength executed with sound technique. “Although pulling weight off the floor may sound simple enough, there are actually quite a lot of things you can get wrong,” says Wright. “Poor technique lets down the majority of deadlifters in your average gym, and can cause serious injury. When setting up for your lift you want to remember to pull your shoulders back and your chest out, locking down your shoulder blades. This creates tension in your back that will help prevent you from rounding the lower back or having your hips come up too early. Your goal is to drive the hips towards the front wall, so lean back into the lift and squeeze your glutes hard while pressing through your heels in to the floor.”

Hard And Fast

Even if you’re a beginner you’ll quickly progress to having at least 100kg on the bar. And when it start getting serious, you don’t want to lift with suspect technique. “If you find you’re struggling to perform this lift with good technique, then start with some rack pulls – which means setting the bar up in a rack around 30cm off the floor,” says Wright. “You’ll develop the strength in a shorter range of movement.” And if you’re finding that you’re having to grind out every rep, you may want to work on your speed of lift.

“To help build your deadlift speed, work on heavy kettlebell swings. By firing your hips forwards against the weight of the kettlebell you’ll build stronger glutes and hip drive, supercharging your deadlift power.”

Essential form: Take the bar out of the rack with it resting on your rear shoulder muscles. Take two big steps back and stand with your feet roughly shoulder-width apart, toes pointing slightly out. Keep your spine in alignment by looking at a spot on the floor about two metres in front of you, then “sit” back and down as if you’re aiming for a chair. Descend until your hip crease is below your knee. Keep your weight on your heels as you drive back up.

Targets: quads, glutes and hamstrings

Walk in to any serious gym and the one question you will always be asked is, “What do you squat?” Like it or not, your strength will generally always be judged on the squat numbers you can put up. “People new to lifting fixate on bench press but the truly strong guys will go straight below the belt,” says Wright. “The reason the squat is a great measure of strength is because it works both lower and upper body at the same time while connecting the two with a strong core.”

No Half Measures

If you’ve spent any time in gyms you’ll probably have seen people loading up the bar and doing half reps in the squat rack. They might be pleased with themselves but they’re wasting their time. “A proper squat requires the hips to come down at least until they’re level with the knees,” says Wright. “You’ll hear the phrase ‘past parallel’ and this refers to the thighs being in line with the floor. Fail to go deep enough and your muscles won’t get the stimulus they need to get bigger and stronger. Work on your mobility for five to ten minutes before any squat session –this will give you extra depth, making a huge difference to your results as well as helping you to avoid injury.”

Whole Body Benefit

While the squat is primarily a legs exercise, the upper body is also involved and becomes increasingly important the heavier the weight you’re trying to lift. “An easy way to improve your squat is to make sure your back is tight and your chest is high,” says Wright. “Grip the bar and pull it down on to your shoulders. Raise your chest and push your elbows forwards. This will give you a stronger platform for the bar to sit on and means less work for your core and legs to do. You’ll be surprised at the difference this makes.”

Add In Bulgarian Split Squats

An imbalance of strength between your left and right sides is likely to lead to poor movement patterns and, ultimately, injury. Doing an exercise that develops strength unilaterally will help guard against that. “Once you have done your squats, move on to some Bulgarian split squats,” says Wright. “Holding a pair of dumbbells, take a split stance with one foot ahead of you and the other behind, and place your back foot onto a bench.

Perform a split squat by lowering your back knee while keeping your front shin vertical. This will develop your leg strength as well as balance and is an excellent assistance move for the back squat.”

Essential form: With your feet shoulder-width apart, position a bar on your upper chest, gripping it with hands just wider than shoulder-width apart. Brace your abs, glutes and quads as you press the bar straight upwards. Pause at the top, then lower. You may find you lift more weight by wrapping your thumbs around the same side as your fingers, to keep your forearms in a more favourable position.

Targets: shoulders, triceps

Hoisting a heavy weight above your head is a true old-school test of strength. “The overhead press requires strength and balance as well as shoulder mobility and stability,” says Wright. “This exercise will create bigger delts as well as a strong back – plus greater overhead strength, which will transfer over to the bench press.”

The Only Way Is Up

Pressing the weight directly overhead, rather than slightly in front of you, is key to going heavy. “When performing the overhead press remember that the weight should be over your centre of gravity, passing through your head, the top of your spine, your hips and your ankles,” says Wright. “Keep these in line by squeezing your abs and glutes and pushing your head through once the bar has passed your nose. You’ll also add about 10% to your lift by simply keeping your core tight – so squeeze those glutes!”

Protect Your Neck

A good overhead press relies on good mobility and that means being able to retract your shoulder blades and push your elbows through so that they are directly under the bar. To help develop that ability, try starting the move with the weight behind your neck. “Once you have mastered the military press (with feet together) you can try the behind-neck press,” says Wright. “The same rules apply, only you begin with the bar on your back. This variation will work your rear delts and back more, but you’ll need to drop the weight by around 30% and take a slightly wider grip.”

Add In The Landmine Press

Your shoulder joints are delicate because they are freely moveable and involve a group of small stabilising muscles called the rotator cuff. The upshot is that it’s easy for something to go wrong, particularly when you’re tired. “To improve shoulder health and stability, perform the landmine press after your overhead work,” says Wright. “Wedge one end of a bar into the corner of the room and perform a single arm shoulder press. Remember to stay strict and allow your shoulder blades to move while keeping your abs tight.”

Essential form: Stand with a barbell resting on the back of your shoulders. Retract your shoulder blades and keep your back upright and core braced throughout. Take a big step forwards and lower your body until both knees are bent at 90˚ before pushing back off your front foot to return to the start position.

Targets: quads, glutes and hamstrings

The barbell lunge is an excellent lower-body builder because it allows you to apply heavy loads on to a single leg in a dynamic movement. “This exercise has many variations and can be used to target many different muscles of the lower body,” says Wright. “It is one of the most under-used movements for developing athletic ability.”

Tight Trunk

Although the lunge is primarily a lower-body move, the fact the weight is on your back puts the force through your trunk. “The tighter you can keep your trunk, the more stable you will feel and the more powerful you will become,” says Wright. “Try to make yourself as tall as you can, pulling your abs in and shoulders back, then lunge forwards. Short lunges will load the quads, whereas a longer stride will place emphasis on the hamstrings and glutes. If your ankle is flexed and your knee’s forwards you are loading the front of the leg, if not then you’re working your posterior chain.”

Reverse To Progress

If the standard lunge is rare then the reverse lunge is virtually an endangered species. Doing the move in reverse has a host of benefits, including improving your proprioception (your body’s ability to sense its own position, develop balance and co-ordinate movements). “If you struggle with lunges it may be to do with tight hip flexors or ankles, so the reverse lunge is a great progression,” says Wright. “The same principles apply but it allows you to drop your hips backwards and step back up, which will help you to improve up to the full walking lunge.”

Take A Long Lunge

Doing any form of lunge will help to improve your athletic ability because it’s a heavy compound exercise that involves an unstable unilateral movement. There are, however, ways you can perform it so that you get an elite-level benefit. “To develop power and speed I perform longer lunges and drive up through my front heel, engaging my glutes,” Wright says. “Without stopping at the top I allow my hips to continue forward in a natural arc into the next lunge. This is much more like a natural gait when running, and it helps keep tension in the core and build strength and power.”

Essential form: Start with the barbell on the floor, holding it with a shoulder-width grip. Drive through your heels to lift it off the floor, then explode up as it passes your knees, using the momentum to help pull it up to chest height and “catching” it on your chest. Pause for a second, then drop or lower the barbell for the next rep.

Targets: whole body

This is the one move in the series dedicated to increasing power and speed. “The power clean has been used by athletes for years to improve their performance on the field,” says Wright. “Building power requires improving speed against resistance, and a power clean allows you to develop full-body power by combining a deadlift and a hang clean.”

Warm Up Properly

You should place the power clean at the start of your session – but that doesn’t mean you walk straight out of the changing room, stick a couple of 20kg plates on the end of the bar and get lifting. “Make sure you are warmed up properly and your shoulders and lats are mobile to allow you to get under the bar quickly,” says Wright. “Being able to get in the front rack position quickly is key. The speed of the middle section is what will make or break your lift, so think about fast execution of the hip drive or ‘second pull’ and explode upwards, keeping the bar close to your body.”

Hang Clean

If you usually train while wearing tracksuit bottoms and aren’t too bothered about growing tree-trunk legs, you can do the hang clean variation of the move which involves starting the move while holding the bar. The other benefit of that version is that it improves your grip strength, which can, in turn, have a positive effect on your power and squat clean ability. “The hang clean, where the bar originates from the hips rather than the floor, is ideal if you want to focus solely on the upper body,” says Wright. “It’s also a good progression up to a power clean.”

Power Through

Power cleans will place a huge energy demand on your body but that’s no excuse to slack off once you’ve got to the end of your last set. “The two movements I like to use in the same session as power cleans are box jumps and thrusters,” says Wright. “Box jumps will improve your speed and power, while the thruster is like a continuum of the movement because it involves going from a front squat to a shoulder press. Thrusters in particular help to connect all the pieces of the puzzle by strengthening the connection between lower and upper body.

Photography: Glen Burrows; Model: Tom Wright

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HEALTH

7 Fiber-Rich Fruits that you must add in Your Diet: HealthifyMe Blog

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Fruits are one of the best sources of fiber on the planet. Although all fruits are rich in fiber, there are a few specific types of fruit that rise above the rest. Fiber is essential for digestion as it is needed for smooth bowel movements and also for feeding good bacteria in the gut. It is recommended that adults should include between 25-38 grams of fiber per day; however; surveys have shown that most adults are consuming only half of that.
The good news is that it’s incredibly easy to increase your fiber intake. All it takes to get your fiber intake up is to increase your fruits and vegetables in your diet. 

Table of Content

7 Fiber-Rich Fruits

Here are 7 of the most fibrous fruits that when eaten daily, have the power to transform your digestive system into a well-oiled machine. 

1. Orange

Orange is known to be one of the best fruits to add into your diet due to its rich fiber content. Oranges are particularly rich in soluble fiber, but they also provide insoluble fiber, which are both essential and good for your health. 100g of orange (approx half an orange) provides 2.4g of fiber. Pectin, cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin are the main fibers found in oranges, which provide beneficial health effects such as weight loss and reduced cholesterol levels.

2. Mangoes

Mangoes are an incredibly popular fruit that is eaten in summers. One medium-sized ripe mango will contain 5.4 grams of fiber.  

3. Pears

Pears

Ripe pears are a great source of fiber with 5.5 grams per whole fruit. To compare, an apple only has 2.4 grams of fiber per unit. The skin contains the majority of the fiber found in a pear, so enjoy the skin for added flavor, texture, and nutrients. 

4. Avocado

Avocado is another fibrous fruit that with the consumption of just half a cup gives you 5g of fiber. Along with benefits of fiber, this creamy fruit is also a great filling alternative to saturated fats.

5. Blackberries

Similar to raspberries, blackberries are almost pure fiber clocking in at 3.8 grams per half cup. Adding some blackberries to your morning yogurt is a great way to give yourself a fiber boost. 

6. Strawberries

strawberries

Strawberries are one of the most popular berries out there and for good reason, this juicy, red berry contains 2 grams of fiber per 100 grams. 

7. Guava

Guavas are an excellent source of dietary fiber. 100g of guava can provide around 5g of fiber, which makes it extremely beneficial for your digestive health. Guava seeds, also have amazing benefits if chewed on or ingested whole, for they are excellent laxatives that help in healthy bowel movement. 

9 Benefits of Eating Fiber-Rich Fruits

There are many benefits to eating fruits that are high in fiber beyond good digestion. Here are 12 ways this nutrient can support your health.

1. Relieves constipation

The biggest difference you’ll notice after eating a diet high in fiber-rich fruits is that your bowel movements will be smoother and easier. Fiber tends to “bulk up” stool and in turn, makes them easier to expel. If you’re finding that your stool is too loose, added fiber will help to make the stool more solid, aiding in the excrement process. 

2. Overall Bowel Health

A diet high in fiber has been found to reduce the risk of colon cancer as well as diverticulitis. Patients with bowel disorders like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) have found relief through subscribing to a high-fiber diet.

3. Weight Loss and healthy weight management

If you’re looking to lose weight, fiber could be very helpful. Fiber, due to its bulky nature; suppresses the appetite making you feel fuller for long. A high fiber diet is essential if you want to lose weight. As fruits are high in water content they do a really good job at satiating hunger and making you feel fuller for long. So if you are ever craving a chocolate bar or a bag of chips, reach out for one of the above mentioned fruits to put an end to your craving and reap long term benefits. 

4. Gut Health

Fiber acts as a prebiotic, feeding the many strains of bacteria in our guts. This, in turn, promotes a healthy gut environment which can contribute to our overall health.

5. Controls Blood Sugar

Blood sugar

Daily consumption of dietary fiber can help to lessen the symptoms of insulin resistance and slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. 

6. Reduces the risk of heart disease

Studies have shown that for every 7 grams of fiber eaten, the risk for heart disease drops by 9 percent. 

7. Detoxification

Fiber is known to promote a clean digestive tract with its natural “scrubbing” powers. It also reduces the amount of time unhealthy fats, chemicals and pesticides stay in the body. 

8. Bone health

The pre-biotics in fiber are known to increase bioavailability of calcium in the foods you consume which could be very beneficial to your long-term bone health. 

9. Reduced breast cancer risk

It was found that the risk of developing breast cancer dropped by 5% for every 10 grams of fiber consumed per day. It’s important to note that high-fiber foods also contain cancer-fighting antioxidants and trace minerals that may not be found in low-fiber foods. 

Best Ways to Incorporate Fiber Rich Fruits in Everyday Life

Adding fruits to your diet can be a fun way to consume your everyday meals. Here are a few ways you can incorporate fiber rich fruits into your day. 

In a Smoothie

Blending fruits such as bananas, apples, strawberries, oranges, and mango into your smoothie each morning is a great way to be certain you’re getting the right amount of soluble fiber in your diet. Add some raw almonds and even some fresh spinach and blend away!

In Overnight Oats

Overnight oats are easy and require virtually no cooking. Oats themselves contain soluble fiber called beta-glucan which can lower blood cholesterol and increase bile production. All you have to do is combine oats, almond milk and your fruit of choice. Leave it overnight, top with chia seeds and some dry fruit and the next day you will have a perfect fiber-rich breakfast. 

Frozen Fruit

There are actually many uses for frozen fruits besides just in smoothies. You can add frozen fruit to water as well as ice tea, sangria and punch. The frozen fruit acts as ice cubes and chills the drink as well as provides some extra soluble fiber. 

Summary

Consuming fiber rich food is important for digestive and overall health. Not only does it feed your beneficial gut bacteria, but it regulates the movement of food in the digestive system, thereby making us feel full and satiated for long. By incorporating these fiber rich fruits into your diet you are greatly benefiting your body’s digestive system. So, don’t forget to add these fruits into your daily diet to keep yourself healthy and your tummy happy.



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HEALTH

7- Day Body Building Diet: The Ultimate Guide

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For bodybuilders or for those who are looking to get into bodybuilding, nutrition plays a vital role in success and failure. For many, nutrition can be a real challenge both in terms of understanding nutritional requirements and diet consistency.
It is not only imperative that an adequate number of calories are consumed on a daily basis to bring about muscle growth or fat loss but consumption of macro nutrients (proteins, fats, and carbs) will also play a significant role in body compositional changes.
This article will serve as the ultimate guide for bodybuilding nutrition and provide crucial information that will guide you through to success. A 7-day sample diet plan can also be found towards the conclusion of the article for future reference.

Foods to Eat

When considering which foods should be incorporated into our diet, there are two major nutritional factors that dictate the rate of muscular growth and fat loss – calories and macronutrients. Therefore, foods that influence these two factors should be selected.
When muscle building is the aim, additional calories are needed. Being in a calorie surplus over a period of time in combination with resistance training will result in significant muscular hypertrophy (growth).
If fat loss is the goal, calories are of utmost importance once again. This time, a calorie deficit must be established and resistance training must be practiced and maintained in order to facilitate fat loss and to maintain as muscle mass.
Macro-nutrients play a role in altering body composition and subsequently, it is vital that the correct ratios of macro-nutrients are consumed. Considering the role it plays in growth and repair, protein should be of particular interest for the bodybuilder.
Taking all of this into account, which foods should be prioritized in a diet plan?

1) Lean Meats

Body building diet - lean meat

Proteins are the most important nutrient for a bodybuilder during both muscle gain and fat loss phases. Lean meats provide the body with a significant amount of protein which will promote muscle growth and maintenance.
Turkey, chicken, lean beef, pork loin, salmon and cod are examples of lean meats that are high in protein and beneficial for health.

2) Grains

Whole grains such as brown rice, whole grain breads, millet, quinoa, oats and granola should be added in a bodybuilder’s diet. Whole grains, being primarily carbs, provide the body with energy, improve satiety and provide key micro-nutrients that are essential for muscle growth & maintenance.

3) Dairy

Body building and dairy

As with lean meats, dairy products are typically high in protein and therefore be included in a bodybuilder’s diet. Consuming produce like greek yogurt, cottage cheese, milk & cheeses will boost protein intake substantially.

4) Fruit & Vegetables

For the bodybuilder eating a wide range of fruit and vegetables is recommended to ensure that they are consuming enough vitamins and minerals to facilitate growth and recovery.

5) Nuts & Legumes

Nuts and legumes are packed with vital micro-nutrients, proteins, and healthy fats. It is recommended that the bodybuilder eats a range of nuts and legumes to contribute towards greater muscular and general health.

Foods to Avoid

There are a number of foods that can be detrimental to muscular growth. As a bodybuilder, with the goal of improving aesthetics, it is critical that these foods are restricted or avoided as much as possible as they can interfere with progress. Not only can these foods interfere with muscle growth, they can have an impact on overall health more generally. 

1) Processed Foods

These are foods that have been manufactured and often are high in calories and low in nutritional value. Not only can processed foods negatively impact bodybuilding progress, eating a high volume of processed foods can be detrimental to health.
Baked goods, white bread, white pasta, processed meats, ice cream, pizza, soda and candy are all examples of processed foods.

2) Deep-Fried Foods

Avoid deep fried foods

Foods that have been deep-fried tend to cause inflammation within the body and negatively impact health. Consumption of products such as french fries, chicken strips, onion rings, fried fish and mozzarella sticks should be limited.

3) Alcohol

Although technically not a food, alcohol has been found in a number of studies to inhibit muscular growth and recovery times. Therefore, drink in moderation and be aware of the negative impact alcohol may have on gains.

7-Day Bodybuilding Diet Plan 

7 day Body building diet plan

Below is a 7-day diet plan which can be used during both on and off-season. During both, the type of foods that you eat should be the same with the only difference being the quantity – this explains why quantities of each food have not been prescribed.
Be sure to calculate both calorie and macro targets prior to beginning any nutritional plan. If this is not determined, significant progress is unlikely to follow. Ascertaining these targets will give you a greater understanding of food quantities and food types to prioritize.
Remember that this is a sample plan and therefore it can be adapted to suit season, nutritional preferences and dietary requirements.

Day 1

Breakfast Oatmeal (with milk or water)
Handful of Dried Fruit and Assorted Nuts
Snack 1 Boiled Eggs
Lunch Chicken or Turkey
Medium-sized Baked Potato
Brown Rice
Dinner Salmon Fillet with Sweet Chilli Sauce
Brown Pasta
Spinach
Snack 2 Protein Shake
Banana

Day 2

Breakfast Scrambled Egg
Avocado
Whole Grain Toast
Snack 1 Peanut butter
Apple
Lunch Tuna
Brown Pasta
Green Salad
Dinner Chicken Stir Fry
Soy Sauce
Peppers, Onion & Broccoli
Snack 2 Protein Shake
Assorted Nuts

Day 3

Breakfast Chicken / Turkey Sausage
Egg
Whole Grain Toast
Snack 1 Greek Yogurt
Granola
Lunch Whole grain Wrap with lettuce
Chicken / Turkey
Black Beans
Dinner Pork Tenderloin
Sweet Potato
Corn
Snack 2 Protein Shake
Berries

Day 4

Breakfast Oatmeal (with milk or water)
Handful of Dried Fruit and Assorted Nuts
Snack 1 Whole Grain Toast with Peanut Butter
Orange
Lunch Chicken in tomato gravy
Brown Rice
Dinner Beef Sirloin
Boiled sweet Potato Side Salad
Snack 2 Protein Shake
Berries

Day 5

Breakfast Overnight Oats
Greek Yogurt
Berries
Snack 1 Cottage Cheese with Fresh Berries
Lunch Whole Grain Wraps
Whole grain wrap with tandoori chicken and bell peppers
Avocado
Dinner Cod Fillet with boiled quinoa
Peas
Snack 2 Protein Shake
Handful of Dried Fruit & Nuts

Day 6

Breakfast Cod fillets
Boiled potatoes
Boiled green peas
Snack 1 Mixed seeds and pear
Lunch Multigrain Roti
Chicken curry
Carrot salad
Dinner Turkey Meatballs
Whole wheat Spaghetti
Spinach
Snack 2 Protein Shake
Melon

Day 7

Breakfast Poached Eggs
Whole Grain Toast
Snack 1 Greek Yogurt
Handful of Fresh Berries & Nuts
Lunch Beef curry
Quinoa
Broccoli
Dinner Medium-sized Baked Potato
Tuna
Cheese
Green Salad
Snack 2 Protein Shake
Grapes

Pros and Cons of Bodybuilding Nutrition

There is no doubt that maintaining good nutrition can be tricky for all individuals. The bodybuilding diet can be particularly challenging yet also be highly rewarding at the same time. This section will detail a number of pros and cons often linked with the bodybuilder diet.

Pros

  • Keeping in mind the foods discussed above, basing a diet around many of the aforementioned food can have a substantial impact on overall health, not just muscle growth and fat loss.
  • Following a diet similar to the sample plan will ensure that a wide range of micro nutrients are consumed. Micro nutrients are required for a number of functions including blood clotting, muscle contraction, fluid balancing, and cell maintenance & regeneration.
  • A consistent, well-planned, nutrient-rich diet, has a clear and significant effect on overall health & function and minimizes the risk of developing chronic diseases such as diabetes, coronary heart disease and cancer.
  • .Furthermore, a bodybuilder’s diet tends to be high in protein which has been found on numerous occasions to be beneficial for muscle & bone health, satiety, and for facilitating fat loss.
  • Bodybuilder’s nutrition is typically highly regimented – this is often seen as a negative. However, being very strict in your nutrition and sticking to this nutrient-dense diet is clearly the most efficient method for ensuring success and for promoting health & function.
  • Lastly, often bodybuilders are in the envious position in that they are permitted to eat meals and snacks at frequent intervals (as seen in the sample nutrition plan). The reason for this is to ensure that muscle protein synthesis (MPS) is optimized and maintained.
  • MPS is the driving force behind muscular growth & maintenance and therefore, maximizing MPS is a top priority for all bodybuilders. By stimulating MPS, the rate of adaptation will increase thus facilitating a greater recovery and consequent growth.
  • Failing to consume protein at regular intervals can cause MPS to drop to a suboptimal level and impede muscle building process. However, eating protein-based meals at regular intervals throughout the course of the day stimulates and optimizes MPS.

Cons

  • In preparation for a bodybuilding competition, it can be a real challenge for bodybuilders to significantly drop their body fat percentage down. For this to occur, the individual has to be strict and consistent with their nutrition to ensure that body fat is lost at a consistent rate.
  • As mentioned earlier, a calorie deficit is required to bring about a reduction in body fat. However, maintaining a low-calorie intake over a long period of time can have a negative impact on energy levels and sleep.
  • A combination of low energy and poor sleep may impact the individual’s ability to train at a high level. More specifically, failing to get enough sleep or having poor sleep quality can affect the recovery process from training bouts.
  • As mentioned, bodybuilders have to be very regimented with every meal and should not deviate from their nutrition plan if at all possible. This does mean that socializing, drinking alcohol and eating out has to be occasional and in limits so it does not alter their goal.
  • In addition, some may find the bodybuilder diet to be quite restrictive as there are a number of foods that may either be detrimental to progress or fail to fit the predetermined calorie and macro targets.
  • Finally, there is a real need to track both macros and calories, particularly for the beginner. Tracking can become mundane and an annoyance at times, however, is the only way that the bodybuilder can ensure that they are eating correctly to optimize results.
  • For more experienced bodybuilders there may be less of a demand to track every day as they will have a greater knowledge of what they need to eat, when to eat and the quantities required. However, tracking will still be required at certain times, regardless of experience.

Summary

Bodybuilding requires a large degree of commitment in terms of both training and nutrition. Those who are able to be consistent in training and nutrition will make the greatest progress.
To optimize the rate of change, it is imperative that bodybuilders consume a range of nutrient-dense foods to fulfill their calorie and macro-nutrient requirements  Foods that can be detrimental, such as processed foods and alcohol, should be restricted as far as possible.



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HEALTH

7 Healthy Foods to Improve Digestion

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We often hear people complain of pain in the stomach caused by undigested food. Most times, the pain subsides within a day or two. But what causes the food to go undigested? Indigestion is usually caused due to functional problem of the gastrointestinal tract. Indigestion is also caused by certain medical conditions and lifestyle factors. In order to keep indigestion at bay, add the following foods to your everyday diet in order to get your digestive system back in order.

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Foods to improve digestion

When your stomach fails to digest food, it can damage the nerve which regulates the digestive system and prevents the muscles in the stomach and intestine from functioning properly. When this happens, the undigested food can ferment and lead to bacteria growth, and lead to several health problems. How to improve digestive system and ensure good health? What food can you take improve digestion?

1. Wheat

Wheat is a staple food for many families worldwide. When consumed as a wholegrain, it is a source of multiple nutrients and dietary fibers. Your body needs at least 25 grams of fiber daily. Wheat is high in fiber which aids in the smooth functioning of the digestive system. The fiber in wheat adds bulk to the stool and can reduce constipation, and act as prebiotics and help feed healthy bacteria to the gut. 

2. Spinach

Spinach an excellent source of fiber that helps to improve digestion. As mentioned before, fiber adds bulk to the stool and quickens its pace through the digestive tract. Spinach is also an excellent source of nutrients such as vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A, magnesium, and folate. Magnesium helps relieve constipation by improving the muscle contractions in the gastrointestinal tract. In addition, research has also shown that a specific type of sugar called ‘sulfoquinovose’ found in Spinach and other leafy greens fuel the growth of healthy gut bacteria, thereby promoting digestion.

3. Chicken breasts

If you are one of those individuals suffering from irritable bowel syndrome or bowel sensitivity, then chicken breast, is a ‘must’ in your diet as it is rich in protein and essential amino acids. Also, chicken breast is a white meat protein which is comprised mainly of lean protein. Lean protein is easily digestible and not fermented by the gut bacteria.

4. Ginger

Ginger is a root that is a part of Eastern medicine and is well known to improve digestion and accelerate gastric emptying. It is known to have concrete effectiveness on the digestive process and in turn relaxes the muscles of the intestine. Ginger stimulates bile, saliva, and gastric enzymes that assist in digestion, and also speeds up the movement of food from the stomach to the small intestine. It is also well known to reduce the risk of nausea, heartburn, and stomach discomfort in ayurvedic medicine.

5. Yogurt

Yogurt contains friendly bacteria called probiotics. Probiotics, which live in your digestive tract are good bacteria that can help improve digestion and keep the gut healthy. Yogurt helps with digestive issues such as constipation and diarrhea, and bloating. It is also known to improve the digestion of milk sugar or lactose. 

6. Fish oil 

Fish oil is well known to play a crucial role in reducing inflammation in the intestines. Studies have shown that Omega-3 taken with plenty of fiber, probiotic foods, and a healthy diet can progress the diversity of the gut microbiome. Put simply, fish-oil is a stool-facilitating nutrient that promotes good intestinal health.

7. Papaya

Papaya contains a digestive enzyme called papain that helps break down protein fibers and assist in the digestive process. The fruit is also known to ease symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, bloating, and constipation. Due to its gastrointestinal capacities, papaya is also used as the main enzyme in digestive supplements.

How to improve digestion?

Now that you know the list of foods to improve digestion, it is also important to know how to improve digestion naturally at home. There are a few simple ways in which you can improve digestion which include:

Do some physical exercises!

Regular exercise to improve digestion and also to reduce stress helps to improve the digestive system. Practicing yoga to improve digestion is a good way to go. There are several asanas to improve digestion such as Bharadvajasana or the Bharadvaja’s twist, Padangusthasana or Big Toe pose, Paripurna Navasana or Boat pose, Dhanurasana or Bow pose, Bhujangasana or Cobra pose, Matsyasana or Fish pose among several others. 

Eat healthy food and hydrate yourself

Exercise helps you digest a certain percentage of food. To have a healthy gut, it is important to eat healthy as well.  Include fibers in your food as they are known to reduce the risk of digestive conditions such as ulcers. Also adding some fat into your diet is good as fat is needed for nutrition absorption.
Lastly, drink a lot of water as low fluid is the most common cause of constipation.

Adopt healthy eating practices

Mindful eating helps reduce digestive symptoms and also reduces bloating, gas, and indigestion. The digestion process starts from your mouth. Make sure you chew your food properly as it also helps in nutrition absorption.

Summary

Indigestion is a problem that many people face, mostly due to lack of exercise and bad eating habits. There are many foods that aid in digestion and can be consumed to relieve the uneasiness associated with indigestion. But for healthy living, it is important to consume food that help improve digestion on a regular basis and as a part of healthy eating practice.



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HEALTH

7 Health Benefits of Running: HealthifyMe Blog

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Running is one of the most popular exercises ever practiced by humans. The activity is adopted by several sports and forms an essential part of a lot of exercise routines. People often have a misconception that running is only meant for those who are accustomed to intense activity, but this cannot be further from the truth. This activity is not only reserved for athletes and sportspeople, but every single person can incorporate running into their daily routine.
At first glance, beginning a running regimen may seem like a difficult task. Waking up and putting on your shoes and getting out the door may not appeal to everyone, but once people get into the rhythm of running, they absolutely fall in love. While running is an excellent way to stay fit, it has several other physical, mental, and emotional benefits as well!

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What are the benefits of running?

As mentioned earlier, there are so many benefits of running, which can help you stay motivated and incorporate running as part of your daily routine. Here are some of the most important benefits of running daily –

1. Running does wonders for overall health

Most people look at running as a means to stay fit. While this is true, running is also a fantastic exercise to boost your overall health and keep you feeling young and energetic. When you run, your heart rate increases, and this helps to improve the circulation of blood throughout your body. Improved circulation can help to prevent the formation of blood clots as well. 
Research points out that one of the key benefits of running is the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, as well as the overall improvement of heart health. Running is known to significantly improve the levels of good cholesterol in the body, keeping you healthy and fit. When you run, your immune system is boosted by the activity undertaken by your body. People who have a healthy and strong immune system are less prone to infections as well as the common flu. Considering all of these amazing health benefits, it makes all the more sense to put on your shoes and incorporate this simple and efficient exercise into your daily routine. 

2. Disease Prevention

With the lifestyle people have adopted today, it becomes quite difficult to find the time to incorporate a proper healthcare regimen. When we lose track of our health, the body becomes more prone to diseases. In fact, people in their twenties are reportedly contracting several age-related diseases. One of the key benefits of running is that it can help you prevent several diseases. In a study, it was reported that women who run had a much lesser chance of developing breast cancer. 
Another key benefit of running is the ability of this activity to prevent strokes. Stroke is a deadly disease that can affect anyone at any time. One of the best ways to keep the risk of stroke at bay is to start running. Running helps the arteries to retain their elasticity and keeps the heart strong and healthy. Apart from these, people who are in the early stages of diabetes, osteoporosis, and high blood pressure can significantly benefit from running daily. 

3. Weight Loss

We see several athletes and sportspeople incorporate running into their daily fitness routine, and for a good reason. Running is known to be one of the best exercises to lose weight and stay in shape. Running is a form of exercise that engages the entire body. Starting from the legs, to the arms, almost every single part of the body is engaged while running. Such an exercise helps to tone the body significantly and can also improve fat loss to a great extent. You might have heard that sweating is proof of calories being burnt. Fortunately, running makes you sweat, and this can go a long way in aiding your weight loss process. Running helps to build metabolism, which improves your chances of burning calories long after you have completed the exercise. If you are looking to speed up your weight loss process, running is surely recommended.

4. Stress Relief

You might have wondered how some of the busiest people fit running into their daily routine. Come hail or storm; these committed people will not miss their daily run. Stress is an issue that can cause plenty of health and emotional problems. In fact, stress is attributed to be one of the leading causes of pre-mature diseases as well. Running is known to be one of the best forms of stress relief known to people. While most people associate de-stressing with relaxing, running is a form of stress relief that engages body and mind on a set goal and provides comfort and relaxation. When you run, you exert all your energy and hormones, and this allows your body to unwind in its own natural rhythm.

5. Improves lung function

You may have noticed how it becomes easier for you to do an exercise the more you do it. You may notice better endurance, improved stamina and no more breathlessness. One of the main benefits of running every day is how much it improves the functioning of the lungs. When you run, you take in more breaths and the amount of air you breathe in increases over time. This helps the body to carry more oxygenated blood to your muscles and helps the muscles feel stronger and boosts your stamina as well. When you incorporate running into your daily routine, the lungs develop more capillaries and alveoli, both of which will significantly help in carrying oxygenated blood at a quicker rate. When this process becomes more efficient, the body becomes more capable of getting rid of waste carbon dioxide at a faster rate.  

6. Boosts Confidence

The runners known to you might definitely appear to be some of the most confident people you have met. People who suffer from low confidence and self-esteem often feel dejected because they do not know how to engage their minds with healthy competition. One of the main benefits of running is that it helps us keep up with our daily goals and gives us a sense of satisfaction upon meeting these goals. Imagine that you start running today, and you found yourself to be capable of running only for five minutes before losing your breath. This will motivate you to improve your capacity and push yourself to run for longer without feeling short on air. This form of self-motivation and dedication is sure to not only bring about physical and mental changes but also boost the confidence of every individual.

7. An excellent cure for depression

When you feel anxious or depressed, the last thing on your mind would be exercise. Just like any other physical ailment, depression is a disease of the mind and should be taken very seriously. One of the main benefits of running is the ability of this activity to treat depression positively. Running engages the mind, body and soul, all at once. Running helps to tune out the noise inside the mind and really focus on the breath and every movement of the body. When people exercise, the body releases endorphins – which is known as the happiness hormone. The improved blood flow and release of endorphins helps to improve the mood significantly and keeps negativity at bay. Moreover, the feeling of completing a certain goal will help the person feel more confident and will enable them to take on challenges with a fresh boost of energy and alertness.  

What are the benefits of running on a treadmill?

Running, in general, has plenty of physical, mental, and emotional benefits. Therefore, investing in a treadmill for the home is a wonderful way to stay committed to running. One of the main benefits of running on the treadmill is that it reduces the stress on the feet and legs as compared to the hard surfaces outdoors. When running on concrete, you may be unknowingly straining your legs and back. Running on a treadmill surface ensures that your feet, legs and back are protected. Another excellent benefit of running on the treadmill is that it can be done at any time. Even if it is rainy, hot, or cold outside, you need not miss out on your running. Just twenty minutes of daily running on the treadmill machine at home can significantly boost your overall health.

What are the benefits of running for the skin?

When we stress out due to our daily schedules and obligations, or body tends to increase the production of the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol is bad for the body and causes health issues, weight gain, hair loss, as well as several skin conditions. Excess of cortisol in the body can worsen skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, acne and more. One of the main benefits of running for the skin is the reduction in the cortisol levels in the body. Running also helps to boost the blood circulation all over the body, keeping your skin pores healthy and clean. The excess build-up of toxins in the body is released in the form of sweat. Improved circulation helps to carry more oxygenated blood to the muscles and the skin. The presence of oxygen and good nutrients on the skin helps it stay healthy and will make your complexion glow. z

What are the benefits of running in the morning?

Running in the morning is an excellent way to keep your goals in check. When you choose the morning time as your dedicated running period, you ensure that it fits into your daily schedule easily. One of the other main benefits of running in the morning is exposure to sunlight. Research shows that one of the leading causes of mental health issues like anxiety and depression is the lack of vitamin D in the body. One of the best ways to allow your body to process vitamin D is by exposing yourself to the early morning sunlight. Running in the morning will surely ensure that you have plenty of healthy sun exposure. The energy boost of running mixed with the benefits of vitamin D is surely an excellent cure for symptoms of depression and anxiety. 

Summary

With all of these amazing benefits, there is no doubt that running is indeed one of the best exercises for the human body. Running helps to keep you in shape, stay healthy, look good, and feel good, and the best part – it’s free of cost. Begin your daily running regimen today and see all the incredible benefits for yourself. 



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